Irvine History Happy Hour: Secrets of the Irvine Ranch

Please join the Irvine Historical Society on Sunday, April 22 for a new “Let’s Talk History” happy hour from 3:00 -5:00 pm.

We’ll be talking about how the ‘Secrets of the Irvine Ranch” with Gail Daniels, longtime Irvine Historical Society leader and Irvine’s beloved “History Lady.”

The presentation begins at 3:00 pm and will be held at the Irvine Historical Society  located at 5 San Joaquin, Irvine, CA 92612

Stay afterwards for light refreshments and a chance to meet fellow local history lovers!

Admission is free but a donation of $5 per person is suggested.

You can find the Irvine Historical Society on Facebook here.

Irvine Ranch workers with a hay press circa 1885

The Irvine Historical Society is located in the San Joaquin Ranch House, commissioned by James Irvine in 1868 and considered the oldest standing structure within the original boundaries of Irvine Ranch.

Built for $1,300, the home was the first wooden house to be erected between Anaheim and San Diego. A research library and extensive photo collection of local historic information are available.

Standard hours of operation are Tuesday and Sunday from 1 to 4; closed holidays. Members are free; a $1.00 donation per non-member is appreciated. One-hour walking tours of Old Town Irvine are available on the first Sunday of each month at 11:30 a.m. Free for members; $5 for non-members.

Join Me for Irvine’s Breakfast and Hike Open Space Celebration!

Please join me as the City of Irvine invites the community to attend a 30th Anniversary Open Space Celebration Breakfast and Hike on Saturday, April 14 at the Quail Hill Trailhead.

This free public event will begin at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast, followed by a welcome at 9:15 a.m. and a 1.8-mile hike hosted by Irvine Ranch Conservancy.  Please wear comfortable shoes.

Please park at the Quail Hill Community Center.  Parking is not available at the Quail Hill Trailhead.

No RSVP needed. For more information, call 949-724-6077.

One of the best — and most distinctive — things about Irvine is our commitment to preserving open space.

The City of Irvine has more than 16,000 acres of permanently preserved parkland and open space – remarkable for a city of our size.

The Irvine Open Space Preserve features trails for hiking, mountain biking and, for part of the year, horseback riding.

In 1974, early in our city’s history, voters approved multi-million dollar measures to fund public parks and recreational facilities, and for the acquisition and development of bicycle trail and hiking trail improvements.

In 1989, the City negotiated an historic agreement with the Irvine Company that set aside more than 9,500 acres as permanent open space marshlands, bike trails, parks, nature conservancies and agricultural areas, protecting fully one-third of the city from development. It features wetlands, oak stands, grasslands and coastal sage scrub, and has been designated by the state and federal governments as a natural landmark.

In addition, in 2006, nearly 37,000 acres of the Irvine Ranch were selected as a National Natural Landmark, a designation which reflects the outstanding condition, rarity, diversity, and value to science and education of the natural resources on the land.

What: Irvine 30th Anniversary Open Space Celebration

When: Saturday, April 14, 2018. 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Where: Quail Hill Trailhead, 34 Shady Canyon Drive, Irvine, California 92603

Cost: Free

You can see the Facebook event page here.

See you there!

Thank You Ebell Club of Irvine for Jeffrey Open Space Trail Botanical Signs!

Jeffrey Open Space Trail, Melissa Fox, Melissa Fox for Irvine, melissajoifox,

Thank you to the Ebell Club of Irvine for donating and installing botanical signs along the Jeffrey Open Space Trail!

Working in concert with the city of Irvine, the Ebell Club of Irvine recently installed nine additional botanical signs along the Jeffrey Open Space Trail – a landscaped, grassy area that currently runs along Jeffrey Road from Trabuco to Irvine Boulevard.

Melissa Fox, Melissa Fox for Irvine, melissajoifox,

Ebell Club of Irvine members Anne Schorr, Joann Coover, and Barbara Reynolds with botanical signs and the installers at the Jeffrey Open Space Trail.

Along the paved trail are periodic wide spots with plaques that chronicle the history of the Irvine Ranch. Plants native to the Irvine region have been planted throughout the park.

Shortly after the trail opened, the Ebell Club of Irvine began working with the city of Irvine to install botanical signs along the pathways.

To date, 33 signs have been installed in the park area between Trabuco Road and Irvine Boulevard.

The next portion of the trail, scheduled to open later this year, will reach from Trabuco Road to I-5. Club members are continuing to recycle aluminum cans in order to raise funds for additional signs. They are also inviting other Irvine service organizations and community members to become sign sponsors for the plants in the new portion.

Melissa Fox, Melissa Fox for Irvine, melissajoifox,

Botanical marker placed on the Jeffrey Open Space Trail by the Ebell Club of Irvine.

A botanical sign costs about $50 to purchase and $30 to install. Each sponsor will be identified at the bottom of the sign.

Anyone interested in sponsoring a sign should contact Barbara Reynolds, conservation chairwoman, at 949-559-1545.

The Ebell Club of Irvine was organized on March 5, 1974, and is a proud member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.  Honoring the motto of Unity in Diversity, the Club comes together as unique individuals dedicated to community improvement through activities and fund-raising projects.  Their mission is to enhance the lives of others in Irvine through volunteer service.

Meeting are held on the first Tuesday of each month, September through June, at 6:30 PM.  For more information, call 714-832-0791.

The Jeffrey Open Space Trail (JOST) is a unique resource for the residents of the City of Irvine. This open space corridor constitutes an important element in the City’s overall Open Space system, linking the conservation and open space lands within the City. The trail will travel approximately five miles through Irvine, from just past Portola Parkway in the north to the Quail Hill open space in the south. Currently, the section from Trabuco to Irvine Blvd. (section 2) is completed. Construction of sections 1 and 3 is currently underway. The JOST provides a key linkage extending from the Pacific Ocean to the Santa Ana Mountains and Cleveland National Forest. The Jeffrey Open Space Trail Community Consensus Plan focuses specifically on the portion of the Spine extending from Interstate 5 to the Natural Communities Conservation Plan Lands north of Portola Parkway.

For more information about the Jeffrey Open Space Trail, see the Jeffrey Open Space Spine Community Consenus Plan (2003) (PDF).

Photo credits:

Top photo: Ellen Bell. Other photos: Anne Schorr. Used with permission.